Close vs close – Can you say these homographs?

(in English only)

CLOSE & CLOSE: Homographs – not homophones…

Homographs are words with the same spelling but with different meanings AND pronunciation. This term has Greek roots: homo means the same, while graph means writing. Many of you probably learned read (present tense-bare infinitive) and read (past tense form) early on in your English way to success.

Close vs Close is less widely known.

Proximity – near – say it with an “ssssss” sound /kləʊs/

The zebras stay close [s] to each other as they drink brackish water from the river.

Examples of /kləʊs/

  • Are you close to your dad? /s/
  • My closest friends live close by. /s/
  • That was a close call! /s/
  • Don’t stand so close to me… (tralala) /s/

Say it with a “zzzzz” sound: /kləʊz/

When “close” means the opposite of “open”, as to open and close something, please pronounce the ending as a “z.” For example, a closed [z] door.

Examples of /kləʊz/

  • I closed my emails. /z/
  • The case has been closed. /z/
  • The meeting drew to a close. /z/
  • Many stores have closed down and gone out of business in the recent years. /z/

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